"Paws for Thought"

Have you noticed your little companion struggling to cope during the rising summer temperatures? Some breeds are more prone to heat and sun related problems such as short and flat faced breeds, animals with thick coats, when they are very young or old and also animals with white coats, especially cats in this case where in some cases it can sadly lead to cancer. There are some simple steps which all owners can take to help minimize the risk of sun and heat related issues...

Dealing With Heat

hot doggy.jpg

As we all know it is usually a lot warmer during certain points of the day such as late morning and early afternoon. Therefore by walking dogs either early morning or in the evening it will be a lot more pleasant for both them and you. During the days which seem more hot or humid it is a good idea to shorten the length of the walk. If you have a dog that is always full of energy it can work better taking them on short walks more often rather than A really long walk all in one go as this could lead to your canine friend over heating. On boiling hot days it is advisable to avoid pavement walking as they can sometimes become scolding hot! Always ensure that your furry friends have fresh, cold water available. Lots of doggies love to lick ice cubes, to keep themselves chilled on a sunny day, so why not make up some yummy gravy flavored ice cubes, It will keep them hydrated and they will find them irresistible! Lots of our pets love to sunbathe in the garden so it is worth creating shaded areas and, for dogs that love splashing about, a paddling pool full of cool water can keep them feeling refreshed!

Similarly keeping your little kitty's inside during the hottest times during the day will prevent them from getting too hot and also from burning. White cats are particularly prone to burning the tips of their ears and their nose which is why using a pet friendly Sun Lotion is highly recommended. At Ashman Jones we sell a sunscreen protector called Dermoscent Sun Free which is safe to use on both cats and dogs. We advise not to use human Sun Screen on your little loved ones as some ingredients can be toxic to them, especially if ingested whilst they try to clean it off.


Dogs die in hot cars

One of the most common ways in which dogs can acquire heat stroke is by being left in the car. Dogs should never be left in the car on a hot day, even with the window open. Even when it doesn't feel particularly warm to us a car can still heat up very quickly. When it is 22 degrees, a car can reach an extraordinary temperature of 47 degrees in just one hour! If you ever see a dog in distress, that has been left in a car at a car park, it can be helpful to get a staff member to make an announcement to make the owner aware of what is happening. This is probably one of the quickest ways of getting the dog out of the car. If this is not an option you can always call the police who have the authority to remove the dog if they feel necessary. Signs of heatstroke can include panting heavily, drooling excessively, lethargy, if they seem uncoordinated or even collapsing or vomiting. If you ever see a doggy struggling in the heat move them to a shaded area, wet them with cool water, that is not too cold as this could lead to shock, and provide them with cold water to drink, giving a little bit at a time.

New BFC Professional Range

Some of you may have spotted our brand new range of BFC Professional products now on sale at our Widcombe and London Road branch! We are now selling Dermo Shampoo which is a gentle shampoo suitable for regular use, Dermousse which is a dermatological foam for dry cleansing and deodorizing dogs, cats and other pets, no need for water! Along with three varying sizes of Probiotic paste which helps to support normal gut function. We are also selling Hepato support capsules which help to support liver function in cats and dogs and finally the Dental Max toothpaste for clean teeth and fresh breath! It is best to start introducing brushing your pets toothy pegs gradually so that they will tolerate it better in the long run. Start by getting your pet used to having their mouth opened and teeth and gums touched just with your finger to start. You can then introduce the toothpaste on your finger by letting them sniff it and rub a little on the gums. If your little one tolerates this then you can start to use the toothpaste on a little brush to properly clean their teeth. Don't forget to reward throughout to make it a positive experience! Your furry friend will have pearly whites in no time!

Lots of owners with cats and dogs, of all ages and size, struggle to manage with a particular characteristic or behavior that their dearest pet may sometimes portray. This is completely normal as we commonly hear questions about what owners can do to help. It is a good idea to try to put a stop to the unwanted behavior at a young age but we are well aware that sometimes this is simply not possible, especially for pets that have been re homed or rescued! Behavior issues can include a variety of things such as aggression, phobias, socialisation, training and lead walking. Many people find that when they take their doggy on a walk it turns out they are the ones who are actually getting dragged along instead! In some cases this can simply be corrected using a more supportive form of restraint such as a harness which comes in many different designs. At Ashman Jones we also sell something called a Halti Harness which has an attachment which can go around the muzzle. If used correctly and gently it will guide their head back so that their body will follow, in many cases it will correct their pulling behavior. It is comfortable for them to wear but it also gives you more control. We advise not to use Choke chain collars as they can sometimes be rather painful and in some cases cause neck injury's. With many behavior issues it aids training by ignoring the bad behavior and rewarding the good! I understand it sounds tricky to ignore the bad behavior as all you feel like doing is telling them off but I can ensure you that in the long run this is very effective. Dogs hate to be ignored so they will do anything they can to get your attention even if it means doing something naughty so that you will shout at them! Giving your dog attention can include talking to them, touching them or even looking at them.

For more serious behavior issues we recommend that you call a behaviorist who specialists in correcting these behaviors. There are several behaviorists around this area including Adam Daines who is based in Kelston for more information you can visit the website which is http://www.avondogservices.co.uk/ . There is also a behaviorist called Michelle Lord who will help to resolve your dogs behavioral issues with support and guidance throughout. If you would like to get in contact with Michelle you can email her using michelle@co-evolve.co.uk.

For those of you who read last months blog you may remember me telling you about Murray's crazy idea of running the very muddy NUTS challenge in September! Murray is running it in aid of HEART Homing and Emergency Animal Rescue Team. If you would like to donate please visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/HEART, any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Until next month, thanks for reading!

Here's another interesting animal fact to leave you with: Did you know that ants never go to sleep!


Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones